April 17, 2019, Fort Wayne, Ind.—The Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (The NIIC) has been awarded a $5,000 grant from Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne. The grant will be used to expand The NIIC’s Enterprising Communities, serving main street and solopreneurs. Enterprising Communities, one of four operational pillars of The NIIC, is focused on increasing access or on ramps for business builders in Northeast Indiana.
“The NIIC appreciates the support from the Community Impact Fund, held at the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne. Main street entrepreneurs include the small, local and often family-owned businesses who are the heart of a community. Individuals who want to start their own companies, retail or service businesses will be greater served through this grant,” said Karl R. LaPan, President & CEO, The NIIC.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, “main street businesses represent two-thirds of firms in this country and employ about 24 million workers.”
“We want to help increase venture formation in our region. This grant focuses on those companies who are perhaps not served through existing entrepreneurial resource organizations. It is important for us to come alongside these business builders as they ideate and launch their businesses to help increase their success,” said LaPan.
About The NIIC
The NIIC is a non-profit, vibrant entrepreneurial community. We help business builders and entrepreneurs launch and grow successful business ventures. We are located in a designated U.S. Small Business Administration HUB Zone. In April 2018, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb designated The Northeast Indiana Innovation Park Campus as an Opportunity Zone through the U.S. Treasury. The NIIC was formed in 1999 by a consortium of community and government leaders and organizations and was recognized by Entrepreneur magazine in 2013 as one of the top four under-the-radar incubators in the country. Entrepreneur magazine, with the help of International Business Incubation Association (InBIA) picked four U.S. incubators to highlight. We were one of them. The NIIC is the country’s only ISO9001:2015 registered business incubation and acceleration program. TheNIIC.org. Click here for The NIIC press kit.
The Women’s Entrepreneurial Opportunity Center (WEOC) serves Northeast Indiana women at all stages of their business ventures. WEOC responds to the unique needs of women entrepreneurs through business growth coaching, training and education, connectivity, mentoring and access to capital. In October 2017, the name changed to Women’s Entrepreneurial (instead of Economic) Opportunity Center to better reflect who and how we serve. WEOC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. As the Host organization, The NIIC also provides funding and supplemental and complementary resources for WEOC, an SBA designated Women’s Business Center—one of two in Indiana. For more information, visit www.inweoc.com.